Cooking fuel choices and birth weight

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

Cooking fuel choices and birth weight

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:09 pm

Cooking fuel choices and garbage burning practices as determinants
of birth weight: a cross-sectional study in Accra, Ghana
Amegah et al

Abstract (provisional)

Effect of indoor air pollution (IAP) on birth weight remains largely unexplored but yet purported as the most important environmental exposure for pregnant women in developing countries due to the effects of second-hand smoke. We investigated the associations between the determinants of indoor air quality in households and birth weight.

A cross-sectional study of 592 mothers and their newborns using postnatal services at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital located in Accra, Ghana was conducted in 2010 to collect information on characteristics of indoor environment and other potential determinants of fetal growth. Birth weight was recorded from hospital records.

Household cooking fuel choices and garbage burning practices were determinants of birth weight. Multivariate linear regression analysis adjusting for age, social class, marital status and gravidity of mothers, and sex of neonate resulted in a 243g (95% CI: 496, 11) and 178g (95% CI: 421, 65) reduction in birth weight for use of charcoal, and garbage burning respectively compared with use of LPG only. The estimated reductions in birth weight was not statistically significant. Applying the ordinal scale exposure parameter nonetheless revealed a significant exposure-response relationship between maternal exposures from charcoal use and garbage burning, and birth weight. Generalized linear models adjusting for confounders resulted in a 41% (risk ratio [RR] = 1.41; 95% CI: 0.62, 3.23) and 195% (RR=2.95; 95% CI: 1.10, 7.92) increase in the risk of low birth weight (LBW) for use of charcoal, and garbage burning respectively compared with use of LPG only. A combination of charcoal use and household garbage burning during pregnancy on fetal growth resulted in a 429g (95% CI: 259, 599) reduction in birth weight and 316% (RR=4.16; 95% CI: 2.02, 8.59) excess risk of LBW. Sensitivity analysis performed by restricting the analysis to term births produced similar results.

Maternal use of charcoal as a cooking fuel during pregnancy and burning of garbage at home are strong determinants of average fetal growth and risk of LBW. Efforts to reduce maternal exposures to IAP are thus important to improve birth outcomes.
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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